How To Fit Exercise Into Your New Year’s Resolution

Hi everyone. The New Year is here and many resolutions involve getting in better shape. I regularly hear how there is no time to exercise. Here are some tried-and-true tips on how to fit exercise into your New Year’s resolution:

Isometrics
These maneuvers involve simply tightening your muscles. Tighten one muscle, like your butt, and hold for a few seconds. Release tension and relax. Repeat with other muscle groups.

Isometrics are particularly helpful when recuperating from a tkr – total knee replacement. Tighten your thigh muscles (quadriceps) to rebuild strength lost by incisions made.

Planks
These dandies give you an all-body workout. Start out by doing only one minute and gradually build up your time and endurance.

Get onto the floor with your arms and legs extended. It’s the position used when doing a push-up. Place your body weight onto your hands and feet. Straighten your elbows. Hold in your stomach (core) muscles. Breathe normally as you hold this position for one minute – or less – to start.

When done correctly you will feel your arms, stomach, shoulders, back, and leg muscles all working in sync.

Stretches
For an excellent back, neck, and leg stretch, stand and gently bend over to touch your toes. Let your head hang freely. Stretch as far as possible. Hold this position for as long as comfortable.

For an easy leg stretch, sit with your legs stretched (extended) in front of you. Keep your heels on the surface, toes pointed toward the ceiling. Gently move your upper body forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings (backside of your knee/leg). Hold this position for 10 seconds.

Gently and slowly return to your starting position. Repeat as needed.

Walking
Walking provides a cardiovascular and musculoskeletal workout. Do it at your own pace. Remember to wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes and socks.

Motto of story: Never let lack of time be an excuse for not exercising. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. There is always a way. Just find what works for you. The above-mentioned tips on how to fit exercise into your New Year’s resolution are still working for health-conscious individuals.

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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physical-related concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.







How To Use Ankle Weights During Your TKR Recuperation

Hi everyone. Many of you have contacted me about how to use ankle weights during your tkr recuperation. The two go together like apple pie and ice cream. Here are a some of the most beneficial exercises that helped me during my total knee replacement recuperation period. I still do them years after my tkr, fyi.

1) A simple way to get some flexibility back into the knee, is to securely wrap one of your 2-5-pound ankle weights around your tkr-side ankle. Start walking. Just by walking around, it helps stretch and strengthen your hamstring. The stronger your hamstring, the more secure your bionic knee becomes.

2) Do a knee extension. Start by sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor. Place one of your ankle weights around your tkr-side ankle. Slowly and gently lift your foot from the floor and begin straightening your knee. Be sure to keep your toes pointed toward the ceiling. Hold for five seconds, if possible. Slowly return to original position.

3) If you are like me, your tkr knee will be bent after your total knee replacement. Here is a wonderful maneuver that I used to help straighten my leg: Sit in a firm chair. Lift the heel of your tkr leg onto another chair.

The back of your knee will be unsupported. Then, put one of your ankle weights on top of your bionic knee. Be sure to start out with a lighter weight for safety purposes. Stay like this for at least 5 minutes. It will hurt…

Keep working at your tkr recuperation. It is a long and arduous process, but it will come…..:)

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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

 

How To Safely Maneuver Stairs, Steps and Ramps

Hi everyone. As you all know, having knee issues presents a unique set of concerns regarding everyday life. One main issue is conquering elevated surfaces. Let’s just say..”It ain’t for sissies.” Here are some suggestions I find helpful on how to safely maneuver stairs, steps and ramps. They all minimize knee stress.

Test the Area
First and foremost, do a safety check. Not all stairs, steps, or ramps are created equally. Check the surface material. Is it wet, dry, asphalt, cement, rubber, etc.? The material will determine your caution level and the type of footwear needed.

Before starting any attempt, make certain you are comfortable using the surfaces. The step may be thicker (steeper) than the standard version we learned to use during tkr recuperation. It may be narrower, have rounded corners, or contain uneven surfaces. All of these factors matter.

For instance, the steeper the surface level, the more physical exertion needed. Rounded corners are easier to misjudge.

FOR UPSTAIR MANEUVERING

Use Railings
I know this is common sense, but I have seen people too proud to use these helpful devices. Forget pride. Hold onto these with a firm grip whenever possible. They were developed for a reason. Always make certain they are securely attached to the wall before using to prevent injury.

Walk Sideways
Instead of taking the surface head-on, turn your body sideways. Place your “good” leg on the surface, then lift your body up until you are firmly on the surface. Don’t rush it. You will feel your quadriceps working.

“One Small Step”
Instead of alternating legs like you would when climbing stairs, place your “good” leg on the surface. Lift your body up until your knee is straight and supporting your body weight. GEntly lift your tkr (or hindered) leg and place it on the surface. Stand upright. Repeat this until you reach the top of the stairs, steps, and ramps.

To visualize this method…, you will be standing (full body) on a stair, step or ramp before moving to the next one.

Use a Cane or Crutch
This may take more time, but what’s the hurry? Remember that it is always better safe than sorry. Place the walking aide in your nonaffected-side hand. Hold firmly and apply pressure to lift your body weight up onto the stair, step, or ramp. When done correctly, your arm muscles will get a good workout.

FOR DOWNSTAIRS MANEUVERING

Walk Backwards
Turn your back to the stairs, steps, or ramp. You may feel strange, but forget what others think. Hold onto the railing, if available. Very slowly start walking backwards, one foot before the other. When done correctly, you will feel your hamstrings (back of knee) muscles working while doing this maneuver to conquer stairs, steps, and ramps.

Walk Sideways
From personal experience…Avoid this method if you wear an external shoelift. For all other interested parties, conquer the elevated surface by pretending you are a crab. Go slow and be successful.

Well, that’s all that comes to mind now about this topic. Do you have any suggestions on how you conquer stairs, steps, or ramps? We would love to hear from you!

Find interesting? Kindly share….

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.







Walking Surfaces Matter After a TKR

Hi everyone! I’ve written other posts before about walking as an exercise for recuperating from a total knee replacement. Walking surfaces matter after a tkr as much as the walking itself, also.

After 40 years of dealing with different types of walking surfaces and the effect on my leg length discrepancy, I would like to share some insight that can help others gain a better understanding about this sometimes “simple” topic. It’s amazing what we take for granted until it is gone or nearly impossible to accomplish. This is especially true after a tkr. Here’s the scoop…

Asphalt offers the harshest surface as far as joint impact goes, I have found. Orthopaedic literature, fitness publications, and bone health news state the same. As softly as I try to walk, I still notice and feel the impact during my knee recuperation.

Walking on gravel is no easy walk in the park, either. Gravel has a tendency to cause my ankles to sway sideways since it is so uneven. Even when wearing hiking boots, this can be discomforting. It’s especially discomforting due to my leg length discrepancy and need to wear a 1.75″ shoe lift.

I found a perfect solution last weekend. While walking on the beach, I stayed on firmly-packed sand. No joint impact at all. It was a very comfortable and enjoyable walk.

Walking on packed sand allowed me to walk further and receive a nice workout. It was quite enjoyable. It was especially nice not to end my walk by having knee area pain. 🙂 The only drawback was ending up with sand-coated boots. But, who’s complaining? Not me. I’ll take beach sand any day and twice on Sunday. 🙂

Thought I’d share my tkr insight in case anyone else is going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

 

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

 


Being Safe While Walking On Ice With A TKR

Hey all you mugs..Oh, oh. It looks like those 50’s gangster movies are rubbing off. Reverse…Hi everyone!

For those of us in colder climates, it is the season that ice can sneak up on us. It is important to watch for it in all situations, let alone when dealing with a tkr. Ice can appear inconspicuous. Here are some helpful suggestions…

Wear proper footwear. Be sure you are wearing good treaded shoes. Smooth soles have a tendency to slide far too easily. Hiking boots are excellent and well worth the investment.

Feel first. This means before taking a step, test the area. Put your foot on the surface and slide it a bit. Be sure to hold onto something else for security purposes. I usually test a 2-inch area. It only takes a few seconds, but can save much hardship.

Watch out for snow. This may sound easy, but it is interesting how some people forget that ice may exist underneath the snow. Snow provides traction, but walking too quickly increases risks of falling or slipping.

Inform others. It may seem kind of foolish to inform others of your condition, but not everyone knows that you have an artificial knee. You are prone to increased risks that others may not have to deal with. Think of yourself and your safety first. Safety first is a great motto to follow.

Avoid tensing up. That may be easier said than done, but the more your muscles tense up, the more likely you are to injure yourself. Just use caution.

Don’t trust others opinions. I have known people who failed to clean private property of snow and ice, yet tell others that it is okay to walk on. Listen to your own intuition.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

NOTE: Let the records show that nothing beats watching an Edgar G. Robinson movie, complete with the gangster lingo, for an entertaining way to spend some time! The only drawback is bursting out laughing or chuckling while on a public treadmill. 🙂

Find interesting? Kindly share….Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.






A Real-Life Story About Nerve Damage, a Shoe Lift, and TKR

Hi everyone! I’ve had a number of inquiries lately regarding nerve pain associated with a total knee replacement, so I wanted to share a recent story in an attempt to help others out…

It was a beautiful sunny day. After just finishing a tasty fundraising breakfast, going home just didn’t sound like a good idea. I was wearing business casual clothing, including my walking shoes. (As I have discussed in other posts on this site, my left shoe has a 1.75” shoe lift on it).

I hopped into the car and decided to go for a nice drive. There’s a beautiful waterfront community nearby that I knew had benches that provided a wonderful view. There’s where I was headed.

As I was approaching the town, I noticed signs stating a festival was taking place. “Oh, oh”, I thought. Parking is difficult enough as it is in that area, let alone during a festival. Anyways, I proceeded.

Someone (as usual) was watching over me that day, since ONE parking spot was available in an ideal location. My parallel parking skills came in handy. 🙂

After taking in the scenery while sitting on the waterfront bench for a bit, I decided to partake in the festivities. It was a medieval faire. WHAT A BLAST!!

However, to tie this in with my tkr and shoe lift story, the majority of festivities took place on open grounds containing uneven land. My ankle and shoe lift were getting an interesting workout! Without any ankle support (like my standard hiking boots provide), my shoe lift walking abilities were put to the test. There’s no point in getting frustrated about it. That’s what happens when one wears a shoe lift. It’s very easy to lose your balance or twist your ankle. Yikes…

I’m not going to complain about anything. I am very grateful for the opportunity, experienced wonderful things, and met fantastic people. I’d do it again in a second!

Let me just say…nothing looked more inviting than my sofa when I got home. I was going to shower, eat, and become a couch potato while watching game 7 of the NHL Playoffs, The nerve damage caused by my since-removed bone spurs was exacerbated. That’s an understatement. 🙂

My tkr scar was bright red (still can’t figure that one out). Both of my ankles were swollen. And my tkr knee was slightly swollen. Remember…I’m 6.5 years post-tkr.

How did I handle all of that? I relaxed, did some slow stretches, ate, took two aspirins, and elevated my leg.

That’s what happens when a shoe lift wearer walks on uneven land for a prolonged period of time. Not complaining, just providing insight that can hopefully help others.

NOTE TO SELF: Carry hiking boots in the car trunk at all times.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.








What Your Walk Tells Others…

Hi my favorite readers!

I came across this interesting article on how your walk reveals facets of your health to others.

I found it particularly interesting, and thought I’d share the link to it here. It’s found on the Care2.com site.

Here’s the link you need to copy and paste into your browser:
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/15-things-your-walk-reveals-about-your-health.html

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Mindful TKR Walking

I frequently discuss how important walking is while recuperating from a tkr, or as any part of life, for that matter. You’re probably been told that by your medical care professional, also.

I recently came across an article written by the Arthritis Foundation that mentions there is now a branch of Tai Chi called “Mindful Walking”. Interesting…

The walking consists of focusing your mind on what your body is doing. I don’t know about you, but I was doing that already in my initial phases of walking. I mean, you kind of have to seeing that walking is so new after getting a tkr.

Anyways, I find it interesting that a new “branch” of Tai Chi has been developed. Tai Chi has been around for so long (centuries), it just is amusing to me how medical science is claiming it is such an innovative method of getting physical activity. Whatever it takes, I guess. Oh…and money can be made off of it now. Go figure…

Just sharing…enjoy!

Walking Benefits after TKR

Hi my favorite readers! The Internet is full of articles discussing the benefits of walking. Well, I wanted to share some personal experience to help others. I’ve written a few posts about how walking has benefited my tkr recuperation. Here are some summary benefits I’ve noticed:

Increased knee flexibility.

Increased cardio workout.

Lower levels of harmful blood cholesterol.

Increased body balance.

Increased energy.

More recently…increased back strength. I’ve noticed better defined back muscles. All from walking 30 minutes daily. Nice!

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks! Enjoy!






Dog Walking for TKR Exercise

There was a recent article on the American Heart Association’s website about using dog walking as part of your exercise routine. The article prompted my recollection about a recent event…

I just completed a dog-sitting gig with two of my friendly four-legged beasts. Actually, one is a mini-Schnauzer (sp?) and the other a Westie. A Westie is the dog you see in those Caesar dog food commercials. Small dogs with big attitudes. They both loved their daily walks. And, it provided a workout for me, as well. My entire body got a workout keeping those two on track. (They were on leashes.)

Anyways, the Schnauzer had leg surgery about 8 months ago. It’s interesting to see the parallels between dogs and humans regarding the recuperation process. Basically, it’s the same. You start out slow and gradually increase your time and duration in all areas. I find it quite interesting, actually. This little gal (dog) has it down, though. She doesn’t jump up when she wants to be picked up. She can jump sometimes, though. I know because I saw her when she didn’t think I was looking.

Her energy level is not where it used to be. That’s a parallel to tkr recuperation. There’s the favoring of the surgical leg, which we all do. (At least, I know I have without realizing it. It’s kind of catching up to me now. :?) That’s a parallel.

When animals cannot do something, it goes without saying that the reason is physical and not mental. When humans cannot do something, why is it we sometimes hear..”You can do it if you wanted to?” It is not always mind over matter. Thought to ponder…

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